Virtual Worlds in Education


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An overview of using Second Life in education, with the Johnson & Wales University Global Outreach Morocco project as a case study. This is from a presentation on April 20, 2007 at Boston College.

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Virtual Worlds in Education

  2. Virtual Worlds in Education Hilary Mason Johnson & Wales University
  3. Participatory Media
  4. Virtual Spaces = Web 2.0 + 3D <ul><li>“ Video game” technologies enable the creation of a new type of place . </li></ul>
  5. Advantages of Virtual Spaces <ul><li>Experience – The closest thing to being there physically. </li></ul><ul><li>Place – Creates a sense of ‘place’ that is not tied to a physical location, enabling serendipitous encounters. </li></ul>
  6. Advantages of Virtual Spaces <ul><li>Experience + Place = Community </li></ul>
  7. Second Life <ul><li>Second Life provides an open platform for user-created content with a low barrier to entry. </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life is free to use. Fees only apply to build persistent structures. </li></ul>
  8. Second Life and the Web <ul><li>Second Life contains a full-featured programming language that enables data to flow from the web into and out of the environment. </li></ul>
  9. Educational Projects in SL <ul><li>College campuses </li></ul><ul><li>Museums </li></ul><ul><li>Info Island Library </li></ul><ul><li>NOAA </li></ul><ul><li>Non-profits </li></ul>
  10. Global Outreach Morocco
  11. Community Action Association <ul><li>Explore social and economic development issues locally and internationally </li></ul><ul><li>Develop critical thinking and team building skills </li></ul><ul><li>Experience personal growth and cultural diversity </li></ul><ul><li>Contribute through community service </li></ul>
  12. G.O. Morocco Goals <ul><li>Use academic and intellectual skills and abilities to address social issues </li></ul><ul><li>Study-abroad experience </li></ul><ul><li>Student-driven project </li></ul>
  13. G.O. Morocco Project <ul><li>Virtual Morocco is a “best of” Moroccan tourist experience in a virtual space. </li></ul><ul><li>The team researched and designed the experience to educate people about Moroccan culture, while hopefully enticing them to think about Morocco as a tourist destination. </li></ul>
  14. Prototype <ul><li>Hassan II Mosque </li></ul>
  15. Presentations <ul><li>Casablanca Technology Incubator </li></ul><ul><li>Moroccan Ministry of Tourism </li></ul>
  16. Cultural Immersion <ul><li>Living and working in Morocco </li></ul><ul><li>Community interaction </li></ul><ul><li>Personal growth </li></ul><ul><li>Contextualization </li></ul>
  17. Business and Community Development <ul><li>Students were given the option to take a credit-bearing course to complete the project. </li></ul>
  18. [video]
  19. GO Morocco
  20. Virtual Morocco <ul><li>Over 4,500 visitors since the official launch </li></ul><ul><li>Created publication and occupational opportunities for students </li></ul><ul><li>Has led to internal and external collaboration </li></ul><ul><li>Platform for new tools </li></ul><ul><li>Generated new projects </li></ul>
  21. Virtual BLAST <ul><li>BLAST is the Balloon-borne Large-Aperture Sub-millimeter Telescope. </li></ul><ul><li>BLAST flew over Antarctica </li></ul><ul><li>in December, 2006 and in </li></ul><ul><li>Second Life in April, 2007. </li></ul>
  22. What we Virtually Learned <ul><li>Leverage the advantages of the virtual space </li></ul><ul><li>Community is essential </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluation is difficult </li></ul><ul><li>Control is a losing battle – give it up! </li></ul>
  23. Questions <ul><li>Can a mixed-reality cultural experience provide the same benefits of a traditional experience? </li></ul><ul><li>How do people interact in virtual environments? </li></ul><ul><li>How can information be communicated effectively? </li></ul><ul><li>Can virtual environments provide a platform for students to prototype business and artistic concepts? </li></ul>
  24. Tools and Visualizations <ul><li>InfoFez </li></ul><ul><li>SLMetrics ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Stargate </li></ul><ul><li>Handshow Chair </li></ul>
  25. Future Plans <ul><li>Virtual Morocco is growing </li></ul><ul><li>Integrate SL and web services (data and commerce) </li></ul><ul><li>Virtual Rhode Island! </li></ul><ul><li>Coming soon </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Voice and open-source </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Identity management </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Integration with web and other spaces </li></ul></ul>
  26. Getting Involved <ul><li>SLED mailing list ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>SimTeach wiki ( ) </li></ul><ul><li>Sloodle (Linking Moodle and SL) </li></ul><ul><li>ICT Library on Info Island </li></ul>
  27. <ul><li>Thank you! </li></ul><ul><li> </li></ul>